Identity of Satan with the Egyptian Typhon

Samael is Satan; but Bryan and a good many other authorities show it to be the name of the "Simoun" — the wind of the desert,+ and the Simoun is called Atabul-os or Diabolos.

Plutarch remarks that by Typhon was understood anything violent, unruly, and disorderly. The overflowing of the Nile was called by the Egyptians Typhon. Lower Egypt is very flat, and any mounds built along the river to prevent the

* "Vendidad," fargard x., 23: "I combat the deva ^shma, the very evil." "The Yacnas," x. 18, speaks likewise of ^shma-Deva, or Khasm: "All other sciences depend upon ^shma, the cunning." "Serv." lvi. 12: "To smite the wicked Auramanyas (Ahriman, the evil power), to smite ^shma with the terrible weapon, to smite the Mazanian devas, to smite all devas."

In the same fargard of the "Vendidad" the Brahman divinities are involved in the same denunciation with ^shma-deva: "I combat India, I combat Sauru, I combat the Deva Naonhaiti." The annotator explains them to be the vedic gods, Indus, Gaurea, or Siva, and the two Aswins. There must be some mistake, however, for Siva, at the time the "Vedas" were completed, was an aboriginal or Ethiopian God, the Bala or Bel of Western Asia. He was not an Aryan or Vedic deity. Perhaps Surya was the divinity intended.

f Jacob Bryant, "Analysis of Ancient Mythology."

frequent inundations, were called Typhonian or Taphos; hence, the origin of Typhon. Plutarch, who was a rigid, orthodox Greek, and never known to much compliment the Egyptians, testifies in his Isis and Osiris, to the fact that, far from worshipping the Devil (of which Christians accused them), they despised more than they dreaded Typhon. In his symbol of the opposing, obstinate power of nature, they believed him to be a poor, struggling, half-dead divinity. Thus, even at that remote age, we see the ancients already too enlightened to believe in a personal devil. As Typhon was represented in one of his symbols under the figure of an ass at the festival of the sun's sacrifices, the Egyptian priests exhorted the faithful worshippers not to carry gold ornaments upon their bodies for fear of giving food to the ass!}

Three and a half centuries before Christ, Plato expressed his opinion of evil by saying that "there is in matter a blind, refractory force, which resists the will of the Great Artificer." This blind force, under Christian influx, was made to see and become responsible; it was transformed into Satan!

His identity with Typhon can scarcely be doubted upon reading the account in Job of his appearance with the sons of God, before the Lord. He accuses Job of a readiness to curse the Lord to his face upon sufficient provocation. So Typhon, in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, figures as the accuser. The resemblance extends even to the names, for one of Typhon's

appellations was Seth, or Seph; as Satan, in Hebrew, means an adversary. In Arabic the word is Shatana — to be adverse, to persecute, and Manetho says he had treacherously murdered Osiris and allied himself with the Shemites (the Israelites). This may possibly have originated the fable told by Plutarch, that, from the fight between Horus and Typhon, Typhon, overcome with fright at the mischief he had caused, "fled seven days on an ass, and escaping, begat the boys Ierosolumos and Ioudaios (Jerusalem and Judea)."

Referring to an invocation of Typhon-Seth, Professor Reuvens says that the Egyptians worshipped Typhon under the form of an ass; and according to him Seth "appears gradually among the Semites as the background of their religious consciousness."* The name of the ass in Coptic, AO, is a phonetic of IAO, and hence the animal became a pun-symbol. Thus Satan is a later creation, sprung from the overheated fancy of the Fathers of the Church. By some reverse of fortune, to which the gods are subjected in common with mortals, Typhon-Seth tumbled down from the eminence of the deified son of Adam Kadmon, to the degrading position of a subaltern spirit, a mythical demon — ass. Religious schisms are as little free from the frail pettiness and spiteful feelings of humanity as the partisan quarrels of laymen. We find a strong instance of the above in the case of the Zoroastrian reform, when Magianism separated from the old faith of the Brahmans. The bright Devas of the Veda

* Wilkinson's "Ancient Egyptians," p. 434.

became, under the religious reform of Zoroaster, dœvas, or evil spirits, of the Avesta. Even Indra, the luminous god, was thrust far back into the dark shadowt in order to show off, in a brighter light, Ahura-mazda, the Wise and Supreme Deity.

The strange veneration in which the Ophites held the serpent which represented Christos may become less perplexing if the students would but remember that at all ages the serpent was the symbol of divine wisdom, which kills in order to resurrect, destroys but to rebuild the better. Moses is made a descendant of Levi, a serpent-tribe. Gautama-Buddha is of a serpent-lineage, through the Naga (serpent) race of kings who reigned in Magadha. Hermes, or the god Taaut (Thoth), in his snake-symbol is Têt; and, according to the Ophite legends, Jesus or Christos is born from a snake (divine wisdom, or Holy Ghost), i.e., he became a Son of God through his initiation into the "Serpent Science." Vishnu, identical with the Egyptian Kneph, rests on the heavenly seven-headed serpent.

The red or fiery dragon of the ancient time was the military ensign of the Assyrians. Cyrus adopted it from them when Persia became dominant. The Romans and Byzantines next assumed it; and so the "great red dragon," from being the symbol of Babylon and Nineveh, became that of Rome.}

The temptation, or probation,§ of Jesus is, however, the f See "Vendidad," fargard x.

J Salverte, "Des Sciences Occultes," appendix, note A. § The term neipaa^og signifies a trial, or probation.

most dramatic occasion in which Satan appears. As if to prove the designation of Apollo, Esculapius, and Bacchus, Diobolos, or son of Zeus, he is also styled Diabolos, or accuser. The scene of the probation was the wilderness. In the desert about the Jordan and Dead Sea were the abodes of the "sons of the prophets," and the Essenes.* These ascetics used to subject their neophytes to probations, analogous to the tortures of the Mithraic rites; and the temptation of Jesus was evidently a scene of this character. Hence, in the Gospel according to Luke, it is stated that "the Diabolos, having completed the probation, left him for a specific time, a%Qi Kaipou, and Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee." But the SiapoAog, or Devil, in this instance is evidently no malignant principle, but one exercising discipline. In this sense the terms Devil and Satan are repeatedly employed. + Thus, when Paul was liable to undue elation by reason of the abundance of revelations or epoptic disclosures, there was given him "a thorn in the flesh, an angel of Satanas," to check him.}

The story of Satan in the Book of Job is of a similar character. He is introduced among the "Sons of God," presenting themselves before the Lord, as in a Mystic initiation. Micaiah the prophet describes a similar scene, where he "saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host

f See 1 Corinthians, v. 5; 2 Corinthians, xi. 14; 1 Timothy, i. 20. J 2d Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, xii. In Numbers xxii, 22 the angel of the Lord is described as acting the part of a Satan to Balaam.

of Heaven standing by Him," with whom He took counsel, which resulted in putting "a lying spirit into the mouth of the prophets of Ahab."§ The Lord counsels with Satan, and gives him carte blanche to test the fidelity of Job. He is stripped of his wealth and family, and smitten with a loathsome disease. In his extremity, his wife doubts his integrity, and exhorts him to worship God, as he is about to die. His friends all beset him with accusations, and finally the Lord, the chief hierophant Himself, taxes him with the uttering of words in which there is no wisdom, and with contending with the Almighty. To this rebuke Job yielded, making this appeal: "I will demand of thee, and thou shalt declare unto me: wherefore do I abhor myself and mourn in dust and ashes?" Immediately he was vindicated. "The Lord said unto Eliphaz . . . ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath." His integrity had been asserted, and his prediction verified: "I know that my Champion liveth, and that he will stand up for me at a later time on the earth; and though after my skin my body itself be corroded away, yet even then without my flesh shall I see God." The prediction was accomplished: "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye seeth thee. . . . And the Lord turned the captivity of Job."

In all these scenes there is manifested no such malignant diabolism as is supposed to characterize "the adversary of souls."

It is an opinion of certain writers of merit and learning, that the Satan of the book of Job is a Jewish myth, containing the Mazdean doctrine of the Evil Principle. Dr. Haug remarks that "the Zoroastrian religion exhibits a close affinity, or rather identity with the Mosaic religion and Christianity, such as the personality and attributes of the Devil, and the resurrection of the dead."* The war of the Apocalypse between Michael and the Dragon, can be traced with equal facility to one of the oldest myths of the Aryans. In the Avesta we read of war between Thretaona and Azhi-Dahaka, the destroying serpent. Burnouf has endeavored to show that the Vedic myth of Ahi, or the serpent, fighting against the gods, has been gradually euhemerized into "the battle of a pious man against the power of evil," in the Mazdean religion. By these interpretations Satan would be made identical with Zohak or Azhi-Dahaka, who is a three-headed serpent, with one of the heads a human one.+

* Haug, "Essays on the Sacred Language, Writings, and Religion of the Parsees."

f The "Avesta" describes the serpent Dahaka, as of the region of Bauri or Babylonia. In the Median history are two kings of the name Deiokes or Dahaka, and Astyages or Az-dahaka. There were children of Zohak seated on various Eastern thrones, after Feridun. It is apparent, therefore, that by Zohak is meant the Assyrian dynasty, whose symbol was the purpureum signum draconis — the purple sign of the Dragon. From a very remote antiquity (Genesis xiv.) this dynasty ruled Asia, Armenia, Syria, Arabia, Babylonia, Media, Persia, Bactria, and Afghanistan. It was finally overthrown by Cyrus and Darius Hystaspes, after "1,000 years" rule. Yima and Thretaona, or Jemshid and Feridun,

Beel-Zebub is generally distinguished from Satan. He seems, in the Apocryphal New Testament, to be regarded as the potentate of the underworld. The name is usually rendered "Baal of the Flies," which may be a designation of the Scarabei or sacred beetles.} More correctly it shall be read, as it is always given in the Greek text of the Gospels, Beelzebul, or lord of the household, as is indeed intimated in Matthew x. 25: "If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more shall they call them of his household." He was also styled the prince or archon of demons.

Typhon figures in the Book of the Dead, as the Accuser of souls when they appear for judgment, as Satan stood up to accuse Joshua, the high-priest, before the angel, and as the Devil came to Jesus to tempt or test him during his great fast in the wilderness. He was also the deity denominated Baal-Tsephon, or god of the crypt, in the book of Exodus, and Seth, or the pillar. During this period, the ancient or archaic worship was more or less under the ban of the government; in figurative language, Osiris had been treacherously slain and cut in fourteen (twice seven) pieces, and coffined by his are doubtless personifications. Zohak probably imposed the Assyrian or Magian worship of fire upon the Persians. Darius was the vicegerent of Ahura-Mazda.

J The name in the Gospels is peeA^epouA, or Baal of the Dwelling. It is pretty certain that Apollo, the Delphian God, was not Hellenian originally, but Phrenician. He was the Paian or physician, as well as the god of oracles. It is no great stretch of imagination to identify him with Baal-Zebul, the god of Ekron, or Acheron, doubtless changed to Zebub, or flies, by the Jews in derision.

brother Typhon, and Isis had gone to Byblos in quest of his body.

We must not forget in this relation that Saba or Sabazios, of Phrygia and Greece, was torn by the Titans into seven pieces, and that he was, like Heptaktis of the Chaldeans, the seven-rayed god. Siva, the Hindu, is represented crowned with seven serpents, and he is the god of war and destruction. The Hebrew Jehovah the Sabaoth is also called the Lord of hosts, Seba or Saba, Bacchus or Dionysus Sabazios; so that all these may easily be proved identical.

Finally the princes of the older regime, the gods who had, on the assault of the giants, taken the forms of animals and hidden in Ethiopia, returned and expelled the shepherds.

According to Josephus, the Hyk-sos were the ancestors of the Israelites.* This is doubtless substantially true. The Hebrew Scriptures, which tell a somewhat different story, were written at a later period, and underwent several revisions, before they were promulgated with any degree of publicity. Typhon became odious in Egypt, and shepherds "an abomination." "In the course of the twentieth dynasty he was suddenly treated as an evil demon, insomuch that his effigies and name are obliterated on all the monuments and

* "Against Apion," i. 25. "The Egyptians took many occasions to hate and envy us: in the first place because our ancestors (the Hyk-sos, or shepherds) had had the dominion over their country, and when they were delivered from them and gone to their own country, they lived there in prosperity."

inscriptions that could be reached. "t In all ages the gods have been liable to be euhemerized into men. There are tombs of Zeus, Apollo, Hercules, and Bacchus, which are often mentioned to show that originally they were only mortals. Shem, Ham, and Japhet, are traced in the divinities Shamas of Assyria, Kham of Egypt, and Iapetos the Titan. Seth was god of the Hyk-sos, Enoch, or Inachus, of the Argives; and Abraham, Isaac, and Judah have been compared with Brahma, Ikshwaka, and Yadu of the Hindu pantheon. Typhon tumbled down from godhead to devilship, both in his own character as brother of Osiris, and as the Seth, or Satan of Asia. Apollo, the god of day, became, in his older Phrenician garb, no more Baal Zebul, the Oracle-god, but prince of demons, and finally the lord of the underworld. The separation of Mazdeanism from vedism, transformed the devas or gods into evil potencies. Indra, also, in the Vendidad is set forth as the subaltern of Ahriman,} created by him out of the materials of darkness,§ together with Siva (Surya) and the two Aswins. Even Jahi is the demon of Lust — probably identical with Indra.

f Bunsen. The name Seth with the syllable an from the Chaldean ana or Heaven, makes the term Satan. The punners seem now to have pounced upon it, as was their wont, and so made it Satan from the verb Sitan, to oppose.

J "Vendidad," fargard x. The name Vendidad is a contraction of Vidxva-data, ordinances against the Devas.

§ Bundahest, "Ahriman created out of the materials of darkness Akuman and Ander, then Sauru and Nakit."

The several tribes and nations had their tutelar gods, and vilified those of inimical peoples. The transformation of Typhon, Satan and Beelzebub are of this character. Indeed, Tertullian speaks of Mithra, the god of the Mysteries, as a devil.

In the twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse, Michael and his angels overcame the Dragon and his angels: "and the Great Dragon was cast out, that Archaic Ophis, called Diabolos and Satan, that deceiveth the whole world." It is added: "They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb." The Lamb, or Christ, had to descend himself to hell, the world of the dead, and remain there three days before he subjugated the enemy, according to the myth.

Michael was denominated by the kabalists and the Gnostics, "the Saviour," the angel of the Sun, and angel of Light. (^XTfc, probably, from to manifest and ^tf God.) He was the first of the Eons, and was well-known to antiquarians as the "unknown angel" represented on the Gnostic amulets.

The writer of the Apocalypse, if not a kabalist, must have been a Gnostic. Michael was not a personage originally exhibited to him in his vision (epopteia) but the Saviour and Dragon-slayer. Arch^ological explorations have indicated him as identical with Anubis, whose effigy was lately discovered upon an Egyptian monument, with a cuirass and holding a spear, like St. Michael and St. George. He is also represented as slaying a Dragon, that has the head and tail of a serpent.*

The student of Lepsius, Champollion, and other Egyptologists will quickly recognize Isis as the "woman with child," "clothed with the Sun and with the Moon under her feet," whom the "great fiery Dragon" persecuted, and to whom "were given two wings of the Great Eagle that she might fly into the wilderness." Typhon was red-skinned +

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